My Favourite Books From 2021 – Part One

I know we’re almost into the end of January, but this month of the Wolf Moon has been a bit of a bitch, and I’m permitting myself to post my 2021 reflections later than is commonly expected by the internet.

In January 2021, I set out to read 100 books during the year, as is tradition. And, as is also tradition, I didn’t manage to. I read around 70, which I think is a fairly decent amount considering what a year it was.

My best reading month was February, during which I read 14 books. How did I manage to read 14? I don’t think I need to tell you as you are intelligent folk, but I will anyway. I took a social media sabbatical. The best piece of advice I could give to anyone wanting to read more is to take a social media sabbatical. I don’t think anything else is as effective as that.

My favourite books will be a series of four separate posts. I’ll publish an extract from each post here, and if you’d like to read the rest (as well as some honourable mentions) and some of the books I felt let down by, you can flit on over to my Patreon page where the full post will be published. You can subscribe to my Patreon for a dollar a month and by doing so, will get access to all the posts I put there as well as a PDF copy of my latest book People of the Sea Ice.

NOTE: My brain is still enveloped in fog now (THANKS, COVID), and I’m not in the same physical space as several of these books are. As a result, this post might not be as concise or as in-depth as I would have liked it to be. But hey ho. Covid has won this battle, but it hasn’t won the war.

Foxfire, Wolfskin And Other Tales Of Shapeshifting Women

By Sharon Blackie

I’ve been an avid follower of the glorious Sharon Blackie for years. I was introduced to her work around 2008 through Earthlines, a radical and intelligent magazine that explored the complex relationship we have with the natural world. I could devote thousands of words to this wyrd woman of the wild, but I’ll signpost where you can find her so you can uncover the treasure she produces for yourself.

So, THE BOOK. I don’t read a lot of fiction nowadays. I rarely find a novel or short story that pulls me in enough to read it in its entirety, which is actually quite upsetting for someone who lives to read. Foxfire, Wolfskin is a rare breed of book. I relished these tales that drew onmyth and fairy tales from across Europe,I feasted on them, and I feasted well, indulging in every line, sometimes more than once.

In my 2021 review of this collection of masterfully crafted stories about shapeshifting women, I said that they had ‘bound themselves to me like a spell.’ They’re still bound to me today. The story Snow Queen was especially impactful. (Of course.)

“The ice is coming; the ice always comes again. The ice is coming for you all. Ice will sweep the world clean. Snow Queen will bend the light that enters your snowblind eyes; Snow Queen will teach you truly how to see.”  – Snow Queen, Sharon Blackie

Please come join us over at Patreon if you’d like to read about the other books I devoured during 2021.

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